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MKW Engineering using Mazak VTC 800 30
MKW Engineering using Mazak VTC 800 30

MKW Engineering using Mazak VTC 800 30

Added to MTDCNC by Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd on 17 July 2013

MKW Engineering, a Gateshead-based engineering company, is manufacturing a number of critical parts for the prestigious Bluebird Project, which aims to rebuild the original Bluebird K7 craft that crashed whilst trying to break the water speed record on Coniston Lake, Cumbria, on 4th of January 1967.

The Bluebird Project was set up by local diver, wreck locator and engineer, Bill Smith, in 2005. He recovered the remnants of the craft from Coniston Lake in 2001, 34 years after the original crash. Through the Bluebird Project, Smith plans to completely rebuild the original Bluebird K7 and take the craft onto Coniston Lake once more.

MKW Engineering is using a Yamazaki Mazak Vertical Travelling Column machining centre, the VTC 800/30SR, to machine two 14 foot floating wings to replace the original ones which were damaged beyond repair in the original crash.

The VTC 800/30SR, manufactured at Mazak’s European headquarters in Worcester, offers full simultaneous 5-axis capability and excellent machining capacity for a large variety of workpieces. The additional swivel B-axis head enables the machining of complex features and contours, such as the unique shape of the Bluebird K7’s floating wings.

The VTC 800/30SR is the latest investment in a series of Mazak machine tools by MKW. Over a fifteen year period, Mazak has supplied to the group technology ranging from basic 2-axis lathes to the latest multi-tasking machine tools, such as an INTEGREX e-1060V.

Rahmon Nassor, Sales and Commercial Director for MKW Engineering, comments: 'The original castings for the Bluebird planning wedges were produced in the early 1960s. The only way to reproduce the components’ geometrics accurately was to use a 5-axis machine with a very large capacity. What’s more, only one set of material was issued by the Bluebird Project team, which meant the parts had to be accurately machined first time round.'

Rahmon continues: 'Due to the component size and the heavy metal removal rates with high positioning accuracies, only our VTC 800/30SR machine could achieve all the geometries required for this project. Over 170 hours of machining were required across the four components produced. Our in-house offline programming facility generated all the original machine programs.'

Richard Smith, Managing Director UK & Ireland Sales Division for Yamazaki Mazak, adds: 'The work of Bill Smith and the Bluebird Project is a testament to the legacy of both Donald Campbell and the original Bluebird team. I would like to commend MKW Engineering for supporting the project and wish the Bluebird team every success going forward.'

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